It is said that music is considered to be a universal language. I learned this first hand during my twelve summers attending an acoustic guitar camp in Northern California. This is a story of friendship and finding your authentic self. During my high school years, my attention was on surviving the day as a young woman with physical challenges. I had no energy left over for dating, the way my classmates did. I found a camp during a google search. I was excited because the emphasis was on folk music which was a style I had just discovered. Little did I know I would learn much more then music my first year.
In July of 1999, my parents and I made the trip north. None of us knew what to expect, as this was only my second time going off alone. When we got to the bus stop there was only enough time for a hurried goodbye. When I got to camp, I met the woman who would not only teach me how to sing from my heart, but that love comes in many forms, and that’s ok.
Her name was Libby and she was beautiful. I knew this because her face was the first one I could truly see. She had an infectious energy that I was immediately drawn too. As a teacher she had the ability to meet everyone on their level. A few days later at the staff concert, she mentioned that her bandmate lived with her. Having no experience with relationships, I assumed they were friends. My curiosity got the better of me, and I later learned they were in fact a lesbian couple. As a newly minted Christian, all I knew was being gay was wrong. How was I going to reconcile my growing faith and my relationship with Libby? Even more terrifying was my growing curiosity about the lifestyle. Could I be attracted to women?
As the week wore on it became increasingly upsetting to realize that people could hate Libby because of whom she loved. I felt this was wrong. If they could only meet her and be touched by the warmth of her smile and the openness of her heart they would think she was a pretty great lady. My thought process was simple. I believe Jesus accepted everyone, so why could I not be both a Christian as well as like her?.
The evolution of whom I was took a lot longer. I came to realize that my interest in the lifestyle was not about who I loved but rather a kinship to the community. They know as I do what it is like to be different. It is now 15 years later and my relationship with Libby has gone from one of teacher/student to a deep friendship. She has watched me grow up and we have supported each other through times of trials and triumphs. When it came time for me to marry the love of my life she was there for me. She knew that like hers, my marriage would have to be different, so she had an understanding like no one else did. Even though we live in different parts of the state, I will always be her Amy and she will always be my Libby.